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CFC

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RADAMEL FALCAO CHELSEA

Diego Godin and Colombia manager Jose Pekerman have both said that they believe Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao can rediscover his goalscoring prowess. 

The Colombian was one of the best strikers in Europe whilst playing with Godin at Atletico Madrid, but since a serious knee injury in March 2014, the 29-year old has failed to find his once-lethal form.

After a quiet season at French side Monaco, Falcao failed to impress in a season-long loan at Manchester United. He has scored just once in his current season-long loan at Chelsea.

However, former teammate Godin has said that he is confident that the striker will find his scoring boots soon:

“Falcao is looking for the confidence he had before his injury,” the Uruguay captain said.

“He is at a great team and he will get the run of games he needs – then the goals will come.”

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has also commended Falcao, who was forced to sit out Colombia’s impressive 2014 World Cup journey due to the injury he picked up just months before.

Pekerman added: “We all know his capabilities and I see he still has the will to fight, to reverse the situation.

“With that spirit of wanting to reach his best performance we have expectations.

“We need that rebellion and that ability to want to fight. If so we have hope that he recovers his best form and we can take it into account.

“We always have the hope that he rediscovers his confidence. He always deserves
to be called up.”

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DIEGO-COSTA-SPAIN

Spanish fans have voted for Chelsea striker Diego Costa to be dropped from their squad for the European Championships in France next summer. 

The 27-year old has struggled for both club and country recently – he has scored just twice in eight Premier League games this season, compared to last season when he scored seven goals in his first four games.

He hasn’t scored for his adopted national side since a 4-0 win over minnows Luxembourg last year.

Costa is Brazilian by birth but chose to play for Spain, playing for Vincente del Bosque’s side in the 2014 World Cup, which coincidentally was hosted by Brazil.

However Costa’s recent form has not proved popular with Spanish fans, with poll answered by more than 70,000 readers on Spanish newspaper website Marca seeing the former Atletico de Madrid man voted out of Spain’s 23-man squad for the tournament, which Spain won in 2008.

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Chelsea Ladies boss Emma Hayes has urged her team to start where they left off as Chelsea Ladies take on Glasgow in the second leg of their Champions League round of 32 tie. 

A sole strike from Fran Kirby was enough to give the WSL1 champions victory in the first leg, meaning the Blues will have the upper hand going into the second leg tie, which kicks off at 19:30pm GMT tonight.

And Hayes, who was the only female manager in the WSL1 last season, has urged her side to remain focused as her side look to progress:

“We’re winning – that’s the message to the team,” she said to the Chelsea website. “Glasgow have to come out at some point in the game and it’s about being patient and capitalising on your opportunities.

“We don’t have to chase the game, we have to try to not to concede. If we’re going to progress to the latter stages of the competition it’s about keeping clean sheets.

“We’ve built those foundations all season and it won’t change in Europe. You’ve got to accept that the game may involve both teams playing deeper, slower and with a lot more patience. Beyond that, we’ve got all the fire power possible to win the game in transition.”

Hayes and her side arrived in the Scottish capital on Tuesday, before taking part in an opening training session ahead of the match against the Scottish champions, which is taking place at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.

However, the 38-year old has said that Glasgow mustn’t be underestimated despite the extensive preparation Chelsea have put in for the match:

“We’re in a different place to last week,” she insisted. “We had to manage the high of winning the Double on the Sunday and then having very little recovery; emotionally, that took a lot out of the players.

“This time we’ve had almost a full week to prepare for the game. We’re rested. You’ll see a different type of performance from Chelsea.

“But we don’t underestimate Glasgow – they proved in the first leg that they’re good enough to be here. If we give away silly set-pieces then that’s where their key strengths are, so for us it’s about staying disciplined, organised and looking for good opportunities on the counter.”

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JOSE MOURINHO
Chelsea manager José Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been handed a one-match suspended stadium ban and fined £50,000 by the FA for comments made about a referee. 

The 52-year old criticised referee Robert Madley for failing to award Chelsea a penalty in the Blues’ 1-3 loss to Southampton.

Chelsea went 1-0 up but were pegged back just before half time. With the score at 1-1, Madley penalised striker Radamel Falcao for diving in the penalty area, with replays showing the Colombian was falling before he made contact with Saints keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

After the game Mourinho heavily criticised referees in general, saying:

“I think it’s time to be a little bit honest and to say clearly the referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea. 

“The result was 1-1 when it was a huge penalty, and, once more, we didn’t get one.

“And the penalty was a crucial moment in the game with the result 1-1.

“And, I repeat, if the FA wants to punish me, they can punish me. They don’t punish other managers, they punish me, but it’s not a problem for me.”

Following the ruling, the FA, who have several run-ins with the Portuguese before, said in a statement:

An FA statement said:

“Mr Mourinho’s suspended stadium ban will be immediately invoked should he be found by an Independent Regulatory Commission to have committed a further breach of FA Rule E3 for any comment or statement to or through the media before 13 October 2016.”

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Diego Costa says he has recovered from his early season form and is ready to inspire Chelsea to a run of form that could see them turn their campaign around.

The Spain striker is expected to start against Aston Villa after completing his three game ban for violent conduct in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal. He has only scored two goals this season and admitted that much of his bad form was the result of him starting the season overweight.

He subsequently lost his place in Vincente Del Bosque’s Spain team and stayed at Cobham during the recent international fixtures where he worked on his fitness.

Costa, who joined from Atletico Madrin in the summer of 2014, claimed the individual sessions at Chelsea’s training ground have benefited him greatly. Speaking to Chelsea TV, he said this:

“It’s been really important for me. I have been able to train with my own specific schedule to help me get better and better.

“The sessions have been good and I have been able to benefit from being here. I’ve been working on what I needed to work on and I am happy about that.

Despite receiving a ban and general condemnation for his role in getting Laurent Koscielny sent off earlier this season, Costa remains very popular among Chelsea fans. He expressed his gratitude for their support:

“It’s always important to spend some time with the fans when you can. It’s a way of saying thank you to them for supporting us in a way we can’t do on the pitch.

“You never quite get used to it but it’s great because it makes you realise that you’re popular at a club that supports you, that people trust you. That’s all really important to me. Hopefully, we can start on a good winning run for them all.”

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Chelsea target Andriy Yarmolneko could turn down all offers of football in England in order to play for Barcelona, according to reports in Spain. 

Yarmolenko is wanted by a number of Premiership clubs, of which Chelsea appear to be the biggest, but is apparently waiting to see if last season’s Champions League winners pursue their supposed in interest in him.

Jose Mourinho was in the crowd to see Yarmolenkon play in Ukraine’s 1-0 defeat to Spain on Monday night, but rumours differ over whether he was there to see the 25-year-old forward or Spain’s Isco who Chelsea have shown an interest in in recent transfer windows.

As well as Chelsea and Barcelona, Yarmolenko is reportedly wanted by Spurs, Everton and Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

Dynamo Kiev are apparently willing to sell for 20 million Euros, and it is the Catalan giants that are in the best position to sign Yarmolenko and they would be able to do so in January following the end of their FIFA imposed transfer embargo.

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THIBAUT COURTOIS

Thibaus Courtois says his rehabilitation from knee injury is going well and that he will return to first team football in December. 

Courtois had an awful start to the season- he was sent off in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea City on the opening weekend and promptly tore the meniscus in his right knee shortly after coming back. Asmir Bewgovic, who Chelsea bought back in the summer after letting Petr Cech go to Arsenal, has been filling in during Courtois’ absence.

Chelsea were prepared for the worst and thought the Beligum ‘keeper could be out for the season but the former Atletico Madrid Number 1 says he expects to be back by the end of the year.

He spoke to reporters following Belgium’s win over Israel in Euro 2016 qualifying and said:

“In terms of my knee, it’s good. 

“I’m doing my rehabilitation and it’s progressing well.

“From tomorrow [Wednesday], I’ll be starting the bulk of the work with my physio to come back as soon as possible.

“Of course I still have to be careful not to go too quickly. I should be back in December, all being well.

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konstantinos manolas

Chelsea have once again been linked with a potential replacement for John Terry, this time in the shape of Roma’s Kostas Manolas. 

Chelsea’s terrible run of defending this season has emphasised the fact that Terry is nearing the end of his career and that the club needs to look for a long term replacement.

A drawn out and fruitless pursuit of Everton’s John Stones was followed by a last minute attempt to sign PSG’s Marquinhos, which also failed. The club are believed to still be interested in both but have broadened their search for a new centre-back.

The 24-year-old Greek Manolas is just one of several they are considering.

 

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Former England U21 manager Stuart Pearce has compared Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek to a Rolls Royce after England’s 3-0 win over Kazakhstan.

The Blues youngster turned many heads inside Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, with the 19-year old scoring, hitting the bar and seeing several chances either saved or cleared.

His performance earlier comes after having played just 17 minutes of league football this season.

And Pearce, speaking to BT Sport, has said that there is nothing to stop Loftus-Cheek reaching the top levels of the game:

“He’s a Rolls Royce of a player there’s no doubt,” he said.

“You know, confident on the ball. I’d like to see, I mean, we saw a few clips before the game about how he drives with energy, I’d liked to have seen a bit more of that tonight.

“Because I think he can do near enough anything in the game.”

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Chelsea are set to join Premier League rivals Everton and Liverpool in the pursuit of Dynamo Kiev winger Andriy Yarmolenko, according to the Daily Star.

It is reported that Blues boss Jose Mourinho attended Ukraine’s 1-0 loss to Spain in their final European Qualifier to scout out the £17 million-rated midfielder, who played the full 90 minutes against the likes of Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas and defender Cesar Azpilicueta.

However, despite his price tag, Yarmolenko is a free agent come the end of the season.

Several teams are reportedly interested in the Ukrainian, including Arsenal, Barcelona, Roma and Lazio.

Everton were supposedly keen on completing a deal in the summer, but the 25-year old decided to stay in Ukraine to wait for a bigger club.

However, his agent, Yadim Shabily, recently uploaded a picture of himself watching the Toffees at Goodison Park, suggesting a deal was imminent.

But Chelsea could sabotage a potential deal and may be able to complete a deal in January, should Dynamo Kiev not qualify from the Champions League group stage and attempt to cash in on their star man.

 

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